After a poor performance in a home loss to the Golden State Warriors earlier this week, Los Angeles Lakers swingman Kentavious Caldwell-Pope responded.
Caldwell-Pope shot 7-of-10 from beyond arc, including a one-legged 3-point to beat the buzzer at the end of the first half. His 23 points helped to lead the Lakers to a 113-106 win over the Milwaukee Bucks in the opening game of a seven-game road trip at Fiserv Forum on Thursday.
Caldwell-Pope finished with a season-low four points in Monday’s loss to the Warriors.
With the win, the Lakers improved to 12-4 on the year and a franchise-best 8-0 on the road. The Bucks fell to 9-6 on the year.
Facing last year's MVP in Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James was the best player on the court, finishing with a season-high 34 points, eight assists and six rebounds.
Jrue Holiday finished with 22 for the Bucks, while Antetokounmpo totaled 25 points and 12 rebounds. Khris Middleton chipped in 20 points and seven assists.
Top player: Anthony Davis had a nice, all-around game, finishing with 18 points, nine rebounds and six assists.
What I liked: The Lakers shot lights out from beyond the arc, finishing 19-of-37 from the three-point line. The Lakers also shot 12-of-15 from the free throw line.
What I did not like: The Bucks had a 24-9 advantage in fast break points and 58-32 edge in paint points.
Injuries: Montrezl Harrell took an elbow to the chin on a drive by Antetokounmpo midway through the second quarter, drawing a charge and staying on the ground for an extended period of time. Harrell got up on his own and stayed in the game, earning a Flagrant 1 foul. Harrell is second in the NBA with nine charges taken. Jared Dudley missed a sixth straight game with right calf soreness.
They said it: “Probably the No. 1 thing is getting back in transition. They are a great fast-breaking team. That, to me, is where they are most difficult to guard, trying to contain Giannis (Antetokounmpo) by putting three or four people in front of him, without giving up 3s because they are shooting lights out from the perimeter. So, that’s at the top of the scouting report for me.” – Lakers head coach Frank Vogel on the top priority for his team facing the Bucks